The role of a private PA in 2021

At Tiger, we started recruiting for private PAs alongside our business support PA recruitment many years ago. At that time, the concept of a person requiring a ‘right hand’ to help manage their private life was alien to many. Since then, the demand for private household and family office support has grown, which led us to establish our private recruitment office in 2016. Private PA recruitment is now a staple of the division, and the role itself is a recognised and respected profession — one which offers career progression, opportunities to travel and a varied range of duties.

The difference a private PA can make

While the core duties of a private PA remain the same regardless of whether they are stationed in a domestic setting or a family office, in a private household, a private PA’s provision tends to be more informal. This is because they will likely work from the home and be able to perform more ad-hoc, hands-on duties, such as taking the dog to the vet or wrapping Christmas presents. They will likely have to work with the whole family, including children and pets. By contrast, the duties of a family office private PA will likely be more structured and focused on their Principal’s needs.

How the role has changed over time

As UHNWI value discretion above all else, private PAs must have an awareness of what they post online to ensure they aren’t accidentally leaking any confidential information. For example, if a private PA is working at their Principal’s summer house and they post an image of themselves online that gives away their location, this may breach their Principal’s privacy.

Core attributes of a private PA

Emotional intelligence is also important, as this person will interact with a plethora of people; the ability to manage these relationships with empathy is key. Finally, discretion is absolutely essential. Our team is acutely aware that a person in this role is privy to intimate knowledge of their Principal’s life so, when discussing previous employers, we look for jobseekers to explain their experience carefully.

Choosing the right private PA

Retaining staff

A danger area, however, is burnout — this is the most common reason we are given for an employee leaving a role. Therefore, to help retain staff, our consultants encourage employers to check in with them regularly to monitor workloads, ensure holidays are taken and provide extra help if required. This is also the person who will no doubt buy all of their Principal’s gifts for friends and family, so it’s equally important for an employer to remember their private PA’s birthday with a lovely gift! A discretionary annual bonus is also gratefully received.

Far from being a luxury, a private PA is an essential hire for busy individuals, allowing them to focus on their businesses and family and freeing up the most important commodity of all: time.

Private PA salary expectations

Three-five years’ experience: £50K- £60K

10+ years’ experience: £65K- £120K

If you’d like further information about salaries or private hiring trends, request your copy of our Salary and Benefits Review 2021 here:

Headquartered in the UK, Tiger Private recruits permanent and temporary staff for domestic households and family offices around the world. Contact the Tiger Private team directly at



We are a recruitment consultancy that specialises in matching exceptional support staff to top businesses and private individuals

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Tiger Recruitment

We are a recruitment consultancy that specialises in matching exceptional support staff to top businesses and private individuals